[Owasp-board] Fwd: AppSec DC at risk

Michael Coates michael.coates at owasp.org
Wed Mar 28 15:41:56 UTC 2012

This never made it to the board list (was originally cc'ed to owasp at owasp.org)

Michael Coates | OWASP
michael.coates at owasp.org | @_mwc

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Kate Hartmann" <kate.hartmann at owasp.org>
> Subject: FW: AppSec DC at risk
> Date: March 28, 2012 8:39:50 AM PDT
> To: <eoin.keary at owasp.org>, <michael.coates at owasp.org>
> Kate Hartmann
> Operations Director
> 301-275-9403
> www.owasp.org
> Skype:  Kate.hartmann1
> From: Mark Bristow [mailto:mark.bristow at owasp.org] 
> Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 7:00 PM
> To: Richard Greenberg
> Cc: owasp board; conference at owasp.org; Sarah Baso; Doug Wilson
> Subject: Re: AppSec DC at risk
> Yep.  There is a "members only" drawing and a "sponsor passport" both for new iPads.  We were going to have more prizes but needed to scale back.
> -Mark
> Sent from my wireless device
> On Mar 20, 2012, at 6:51 PM, Richard Greenberg <richard.greenberg at owasp.org> wrote:
> I am saddened to hear this. Obviously the economic situation has been eroding vendor marketing budgets. I'm assuming you have already considered trying to entice more attendees through incentives, such as being entered into a pool for a drawing for a new iPad?
> On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM, Mark Bristow <mark.bristow at owasp.org> wrote:
> Board,
> I wanted to write you to let you know that AppSec DC is currently in a financial risk state.  A few months ago I warned that we were not where we needed to be event wise and we took some steps to improve this however these efforts have not been sufficient.  Even though our registrations are looking to be on par with last year's numbers (perhaps a bit down) we are not pulling in near the sponsorship levels that we needed to conduct a successful event.  Last year AppSec DC brought in $67,000 in sponsorships compared to this year's $38,000.  This is compounded by the lack of training registrations (2010 $48,000 in revenue vs 2012 $24,000).  This puts our sponsor/training revenue down approximately $53,000 year over year.  We also are not near the levels required of our hotel block (which in the past has sold out easily) currently adding a $30,000 liability on the books (I expect this to improve dramatically as we approach the event, as it has done in the past).
> Currently (if no more registrations, sponsorships or training registration occurs, and the hotel dons't fill up) we are looking at a worst case $52,000 loss.  Now I expect this number to improve, especially considering that the last few weeks typically have a number of registrations and the hotel liability should shrink considerably but I wanted to alert you to the risks.  As with most event planning we were running a deficit for some time (this is expected but it should have improved by this point, last year we were at about $10,000 loss at the same time in the calendar ) but a number of last minute sponsorships turned up as "no" and as a result we are looking at a gap that we may not close.
> We have already curtailed much of the "niceties" at the event:
> We have canceled the VIP/Speaker event
> We have canceled lunch, and moved to only providing coffee at breaks (Still expensive due to the venue, it is still an option to cancel this however it will severely impact event quality)
> We have removed food at the Networking Event (This event is sponsored and the sponsorship will cover costs)
> We have nixed the VIP gift
> We have downgraded our usual conference bag to one that costs about $1 per unit
> We have scaled back on prizes
> There are a lot of reasons that I have for why we are at this point, but at this point there is no point crying over split milk.  I wanted to both inform you that there is a risk and ask that, if as board members you have any last minute contacts for sponsorships that you considering leveraging them as we are basically out of leads in this regard.  I'm also open to suggestions/directives about what else to cut as I feel we're at the leanest we can get without cutting into the "meat".
> -- 
> Mark Bristow
> (703) 596-5175
> mark.bristow at owasp.org
> OWASP Global Conferences Committee Chair - http://is.gd/5MTvF
> OWASP DC Chapter Co-Chair - http://is.gd/5MTwu
> AppSec DC Organizer - https://www.appsecdc.org
> -- 
> Richard Greenberg, CISSP
> Board of Directors, OWASP Los Angeles, www.owaspla.org
> Board of Directors, ISSA Los Angeles, www.issa-la.org
> OWASP Global Conference Committee
> LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardagreenberg

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